Santa Cruz PayDirt wants to support activities that benefit riders and their local communities. And to also inspire others to do the same.

Santa Cruz PayDirt wants to support activities that benefit riders and their local communities. And to also inspire others to do the same.

>>> Black Friday 2019 mountain bike deals: the offers continue to roll in

Santa Cruz PayDirt press release

Santa Cruz Bicycles to Give Away $1 million

This is our commitment to increasing access to quality trails. We’re pledging to give $1 million over the next three years to trail development projects, local and national advocacy organizations, events, and programs geared toward creating and strengthening access to trails.

PayDirt is about supporting grassroots organizations to do the silent work of advocacy to build or maintain the trails we all enjoy. Any group who has an idea or running project that increases access or improves the experience of mountain biking can apply to the PayDirt fund. Starting today.

Starting November 19th we’re opening up the application process for local organizations and projects to apply for funding.

More information about PayDirt and information on how to apply can be found at

We will consider any project that increases access for mountain bikes will be considered; whether that’s building trails, supporting local trail and MTB organizations with their advocacy efforts, trail builders or providing opportunities to get more riders on bikes more often.

Creative ways of raising funds and awareness

We’ve helped raise a lot of cash and awareness for projects close to our heart. For example, 2017 was one of the worst wildfire seasons on record for California. Homes were lost, lives changed and singletrack went up in flames. “We talked to our shops, reps and customers in the areas affected by the fires and above all they expressed a real desire for a return to normalcy,” said Santa Cruz CEO Joe Graney. “We all know how a good bike ride makes you feel, and we want to help people get back to that.” In order to help with trail reconstruction efforts in Santa Rosa and Santa Barbara, we partnered with other California-based bike brands to make two custom bikes for raffling off. The total raised was $128,249.

Long-time friend of Santa Cruz, mountain bike guide and MS sufferer, Andy McKenna, has been doing the good work to raise awareness of how people with MS can still lead happy, healthy lives. He does this through his organization, STOKED ON MS . To help keep the fundraising momentum going we produced a one-of-a-kind, unique, custom-painted, fully-specced Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson bike. Each raffle ticket cost just £5, and ultimately raised£28,319.

There was also the time when Oregon introduced a new tax on bicycles (specifically mountain bikes), which we thought was kinda wack. “The whole thing seemed like a bad deal for Oregon cyclists in general and mountain bikers in particular,” said Joe Graney. “It doesn’t look like any of the money collected from the sale of mountain bikes will actually benefit mountain bikers, so we thought we’d try and do something to ease the pain of our northern neighbors.” Which is why we launched the “ The Oregon Trail Tax ” where we matched the $15 per bike excise tax customers pay on every new Santa Cruz or Juliana bike sold in Oregon with an equal donation to three Oregonian trail building organizations – the Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA) , the Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) , and Team Dirt.

Advocacy in Oregon is nothing new for Santa Cruz; as part of the company’s sponsorship of the Trans-Cascadia enduro race (which goes towards the Ten For Trails program , event funding and bike raffle fundraising ), our employee based Factory Racing Team has logged more than 500 hours of trail work in the state over the last two years on trails near the towns of Oakridge and Ashland.

Generally all the events we support have a significant trail stewardship and fundraising element to them: this includes Downieville Classic, NZ Enduro, Trans-Cascadia, Ard Rock Enduro, Old Cabin Classic and Trans-Provence.

Mobilizing human-power

But our work doesn’t stop at writing checks. Whenever we can we’re side-by-side with these organizations at meetings, and mobilizing our employees to write letters of support en masse and turning up at trail days. In 2018 1,411 employee hours were provided to voluntary advocacy efforts – sometimes that was us paying for our employees hours to skip work and turn up to dig days, other times it’s our employees going above and beyond to make tool noises in their own time (which we don’t count in our total). But we know that sometimes it’s cold hard cash that really helps these grassroots organizations to do the silent work of advocacy so that others can make tool noises that build new or maintain existing trail networks.

In 2018 we donated approximately $175,000 of cold hard cash, and we helped raise around $225,000 to support new trails and maintenance. But starting in November 2019, we’re going bigger. We’re committing $1 million dollars in cash over the next three years. That’s our solid commitment. How that money is best used is what we need help from the community to determine.

An even bigger commitment

We want to share our support further than the core groups and places we already support. We want to make sure they’re rad projects put together by trail advocacy pros that will lead to better access to mountain biking. It doesn’t even have to be for building or maintaining trails, it could be about getting some people on bikes or giving them a trail experience. Who knows, we’re open to ideas.

We recognize that every mountain bike rider (many Santa Cruz Bicycles employees identify as riders above all) has a duty to put into the pot because at the moment it’s a lot of volunteers and committed professionals doing all the hard work so riders can just enjoy their riding. We don’t believe in No Dig, No Ride, not exactly, but we do think if we don’t contribute in some ways then what’s our worth to the world? This is why we’re supporting the silent work and tool noises that provide us all with great mountain bike experiences.